Quest to find home

Cogitation 2, 2020 Saturday 11 January Featured image: Sunrise. We made several trips to the City of Elkhart this week for some appointments and a few errands. It’s where we lived for more than 45 years. Elkhart is only 12 miles from our new home in Goshen, though it seems like many more. We’re happy where we are, even though we’re still “settling in.”

The quest to find home in a new community means transitioning to a new familiar, establishing new routines, welcoming the new/old of daily life. Also, remembering old connections.

During one day in Elkhart we had lunch at Cappy’s Northside Bar, followed by picking up groceries at our old “go-to” Martin’s Super Market.

Cappy’s has been around forever, little changed inside or outside. The food is really good, the service friendly, the ambiance cozy. All I need.

Cappy’s is located close to the former Miles Laboratories, acquired by Bayer and moved to New Jersey and Germany.

Martin’s moved into the former Cooks Department Store and was the regional grocer’s largest store. it will close in mid-February, and reopen in October in a new building a stone’s throw from the old. It’s part of a major revitalization in that part of the city, a half mile from our former home.

Farewell, Old Familiar.

Finding home

This week I read Walking Home, by Lynda L. Wilson (Stone Boat Press, 2015, Second Edition 2017). Wilson tells the story of how she and her husband, Doug, were the first to walk the then yet to be finished 127-kilometer (79 miles) Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail in Ontario, Canada.

We bought the book a few years ago while staying in Goderich on Lake Huron. When we might walk the Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail remains an open, yet compelling, question.

Wilson weaves more into her narrative than a step-by-step recounting of their week-long walk, though that in itself leaves one laughing, wondering, wincing, pulling, applauding. Will they be able to finish the trek given the hurdles of inexperience, health, summer heat, bridge-out detours, and lingering efforts by some landowners to block the trail’s development?

Chapter One, first paragraph, sets the stage: “No one suddenly decides to embark on a one-hundred and twenty-seven kilometre walk without a very good reason. For my husband, I suspect it was a way to prove to himself that, after open heart surgery and a lifetime of struggling with illness, he could do something so challenging. For me, it was my quest to find home, or at the very least to find what home really meant to me.”

Bravo! Right up front we get an indication of the physical testing and soul-searching that will accompany the walk. It’s a physical challenge for both, as well as an opportunity to wrestle with inner demons. For Lynda, the interior search will be for answers to life’s riddles, specifically, unfinished birth-family business. Through facing their individual challenges, one sees the couple not only crossing the finish line, but gaining a new self understanding and through it all merging into a new level of love.

Walking Home has a lot to do with looking back, looking forward, remembering the good, while wrestling with what’s unfinished, broken, puzzling, and then letting it go. Bygones are put to rest. Of course, it has everything to do with continuing to be at home on the trail, in the middle of Creation, mindful of the holy, the place in which wonder and relationship flourish, where the present unfolds like a wish come true. Home at last.

A walk in Goshen this week

From Linway Plaza we walked to Mullet Park, took the footbridge across the Elkhart River to the Mill Race Canal Trail, side tripped to the Library, returned to the Mill Race, continued across a footbridge to Rogers Park, stopped at Kroger for a lemon and celery, returned to Linway Plaza, poked into Dutch Maid Bakery, picked up a bag of butter croissants, and returned to our car at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles where we had gotten a new license tag.
Brokenhearted artist?
Towering oak family at home in Shanklin Park.
On the Mill Race Canal Trail.
Hawks Building on the Mill Race being converted to apartments.
Footbridge across the Elkhart River to Rogers Park.
Cut to clear the way across the footbridge to Rogers Park. Thursday’s walk covered five miles.

Morning

Sunrise from home, sweet home.

-John

4 thoughts on “Quest to find home

  1. The best free activity of all time – walking. You and Marty embrace it. I’m sure you will find the time to do the Ontario trail you wrote about it. I’m sure you won’t rest until you do it!
    Kaye

    Like

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